Whether you're decorating Valentine's Day cookies or a birthday cake, it can be tricky to frost these goodies and make sure they're perfect the first time around. It takes an ample amount of practice to get it right on cue, but it's possible to create professional-looking treats with the right tools and tricks. Here are some tips you can use to decorate your cupcakes and cakes to make sure they wow the crowd at your next get-together.
Choose Frosting That Spreads Easily
There are many different types of frosting that you can choose from to decorate your baked goods, but choosing the right variety can be the difference between a sloppy treat and one that looks right out of the bakery.
One option you might want to consider because it's easy to spread is buttercream. Not only is this variety tasty, but it can be easily piped out of a bag for decorative purposes. Other choices you may want to try for birthday cupcakes include cream cheese, powdered sugar and cooled ganache, according to Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. If you select a store-bought frosting, make sure it's labeled "creamy" to spread it easily onto your desserts.
Don't Forget the Crumb Coat
In baker's terms, a crumb coat can be defined as the initial coating of frosting that you apply to your cake. A crumb coat can be placed on cupcakes as well to make it easier to frost the treat in its entirety. But why is this step necessary?
No matter how long you wait for your desserts to cool down, they're bound to be some crumbs that stick to your spatula during the initial frosting process. The key to making your finished piece look flawless is to create the crumb coat, let it dry, then apply the final layers of frosting for a polished appearance.
Mix Up Your Tools
Having a wide variety of tips for the decorating process can help you truly wow your guests. Whether you're using a pastry bag or a homemade zip-lock bag for the frosting, being able to switch between different tips can help you achieve the look you desire. Each frosting tip is designed to create a different design, ranging from grass-like textures to rosy petals. Play with the different tips and your frosting beforehand on a paper towel to get the hang of it before making it final on your cake or cupcakes.